Thursday, August 30, 2007


The eggplant hails from tropical Southeast Asia, and it was in India where the plant began its cultivation as a pantry staple. The variety of shapes range from the familiar large globe to thin oblong to small egg-shaped ones – with a range of colors from the expected deep purple to white to pale green to a shocking Persian variety that is orange. The common denominator for this assortment of vegetable is that they should have a firm feel, and a smooth, unblemished skin when ripe. On most versions the smaller they are the less bitter they will taste, and the better the texture of its meat. I would prefer to buy two quarter-pound Italian globes than one half-pounder.

I personally, find the skin of the eggplant tough and bitter, and am apt to peel it away before I proceed with cooking them. The stubby Japanese ones and the small Thai egg-shaped ones maintain the exception to this rule for the former is prefect for stuffing, and the Thai ones are rather tender. Slicing and salting the eggplant before cooking helps leach out bitter compounds at technique that I perform regularly – particularly on larger sized purchases. If sautéing this vegetable be warned they will absorb about twice their volume of oil making them susceptible to sticking to your pan. In ancient Greece it was the patrician class that could afford cooking this vegetable.

Babaghnoush - yields 6 to 8 servings

3 pounds eggplant - medium size
3 garlic cloves – crushed to a paste
3/4 cup tahini paste
2 lemons – juiced (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup Italian parsley leaves – chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves –chopped
6 scallions - green tops only, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prick the eggplant with a fork on all sides. Place on a foil line baking tray, and place in a 350 degree oven. Let the eggplant bake till the skin is charred and blistered -- approximately 30 minutes. Turn the eggplant at least once to ensure that all sides blister. The eggplant will be soft and mushy when it’s done.

Let the eggplant cool slightly, then peel away the skin completely and discard. Discard the large strip of seeds that you will find in the center– a few remaining is fine. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend till smooth.

Eggplant in Balsamic

4 eggplants - approximately 2 pounds in total
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley - leaves only
2 heads of garlic - roasted; skinned and pasted
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Peel the skin and then slice the eggplant into 1/2" rounds, and grill or bake till cooked (approx. 8 minutes). Then in a 1-liter jar place the eggplant down flat. Combine the parsley, garlic and black pepper balsamic vinegar and olive oil together to form a smooth mixture. The eggplant should fit snugly in the jar. Pour the balsamic mixture over the eggplant, and cover with a non-metallic lid. You may want to drizzle some of the balsamic mixture between the layers of eggplant to ensure a good distribution of the flavors. Refrigerate for overnight to a few days before eating.

**To roast garlic trim the stem end of the garlic bulb to expose just the very top of the garlic. Drizzle the garlic bulb with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Place the garlic in a 350 degree preheated oven, and cook for 45 minutes. Let the garlic cool for 15 minutes and then squeeze the garlic out of the skin.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Before I knew anything more than a single variety of the cherry, peach, nectarine or apricot there showed up for me a myriad of plum – green, red, black and the purplish oblong shaped Italian all made it into my greedy mouth. I never did associate those succulent treasures with the viscous juice my grandfather drank everyday. Though today the dried plum board of California would prefer if we refrained from using the word prune. One of the sweetest of domestic fruits, the plum, ranks with the peach in commercial production, but out strips it in varieties available. Believed to have originated in southwestern Russia and the Caspian Sea these multi-colored fruits need to fully develop their sweetness on the branch. Once they are harvested they will not continue to develop sugar though they will soften. The premiere eating variety has to the green gage with its light celadon skin and yellowish meat. It has one of the lowest of acidity levels that allows permits its sweetness to shine without interruption. Though it is the red and black Santa Clara varieties that rein supreme in the United States (from a commercial production). These plums with red and yellow flesh are produced primarily in California are prefect for chutneys and sauces, and are readily available throughout plums mid-summer to early autumn run. The freestone member of this family the Italian prune tends to be oblong with a purplish skin and pale golden meat. This is the notorious dried variety that a generation took in liquid form daily.

Plum filled Raviolis – yields 10 servings

1 package of wontons

1-pound plums - chopped
1 vanilla – split in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg - beaten
4 ounces (1stick) unsalted butter

Place the chopped plums, vanilla bean, lemon juice, wine and 1/4 cup of sugar in a 1 quart pot. Over a medium low flam cook the plum mixture for 20 minutes with a secure fitting lid. Discard the vanilla bean and allow the mixture to cool completely.

Place a tablespoon of the plum mixture in the center of a wonton skin. Lightly brush the edges with the beaten egg and place another square on top. Pinch the two pieces together making sure to squeeze out any air pockets. Continue with the remaining wonton skins.

Heat a 10 inch sauté pan over a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter starts to get frothy add in the raviolis in two patches. They can be tightly packed, but should not overlap too much. Cook the raviolis for 4 to 5 minutes, and gently mix in cup 1/8 cup orange juice. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with some of the remaining sugar. Wipe out the sauté pan and proceed with the second batch. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lima Bean

I have always been very perplexed by the negative attention certain beans get. One in particular was much maligned when I was a child at the dinner table – the lima bean. Personally, I rather enjoyed this grassy tasting, smooth bean. Perhaps, it was due in part that they were frozen and not canned like the peas and carrots that frequently soiled my dinner plate. Granted the application was never too sophisticate just simply boiled and tossed with some butter. But they had texture and character.

This vegetable of South America takes is name from the capitol of Peru, Lima, were the Europeans first started its export to the Eastern Hemisphere. In the southeast of the United States you will a host of close relatives referred as butter beans – they are a smaller variety of the lima. As I do with fava beans I always give a quick feel of the shell to make sure there are 3 to 5 beans in each pod. You will lose about 20 plus percentage to the discard to the shell so I want to make sure that very lima bean is as packed as it can be.

Succotash – serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion – diced
4 garlic cloves – diced
1/2-pound Yukon gold potatoes – scrubbed and diced 1/2-inch
3 ears corn – kernels removed from the cob
1-pound fresh lima beans – beans removed from their shell
1-pound ripe tomato – diced
1-teaspoon fresh summer savory or thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a 3-quart pot over a medium heat, and add the oil, onions and garlic. Cook the onion mixture until they are translucent, and then add the potatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the corn, lima beans, tomato and savory plus 1/2 cup of water. Bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the succotash, with a lid slightly askew, for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Puttn' Up

There is a heritage of storing, saving and preserving the harvest of the land and sea that takes us back pre-historic times. Puttn’ up is a way to feed your clan and survive the less generous offering of the cold months – smoked salmon of the Pacific Northwest; de-hydrated potatoes of the Andes Mountains; sun-dried tomatoes in Southern Italy, and salt cod which gave the Europeans a daily stew. In the modern age this concept became easier, safer, and for better or worst, less vital.

Now, when we think canning and preserving it is jams and jellies in particular – perhaps to be offered as holiday gifts. I like to put up the aforementioned as well as more savory pleasures. Though I do not limited myself to canning –sometimes having a large pot of boiling water going all day during the “3-H’s” of August makes my walls sweat. So, I have become fond of pickling and freezing many items.

I will pickle cucumbers, beets, mixed vegetables, whole garlic and chilies.

You will find in my freezer: tomatoes stored whole, blanched peas, corn, Brussels sprouts, soybeans, blueberries, sliced peaches and apricots.

Visit the website to read up on the procedures for canning….remember to be sterile with all the jars, lids and tools that you use. Always make sure the bottles you use are glass or ceramic for they are easier to sterilize and are not reactive in any way. I sterilize my bottles with beach and water, and then let the bottle air-dry for my pickles. Make sure you have a tight fitting top each bottle.

Then that night as you drift off to sleep you will be hearing the ping of sealing jars, and if you are like me, then dream of meals to come.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

1/2-cup kosher salt
2 cups water
3 cups distilled vinegar
3 1/2 pounds green tomatoes - washed
2 heads spring garlic – cut in quarters
5 ounces baby fennel bulb
1-teaspoon whole brown mustard seed
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
1/4-teaspoon whole fenugreek
1/2-teaspoon whole caraway seed

In a 1-quart pan bring the salt and water to the boil to dissolve the salt. Pour in the vinegar and remove from the heat. In a clean gallon jar snuggly place the tomato, garlic and fennel bulb. Sprinkle the spices into the jar and pour over the vinegar solution. Make sure the tomatoes are completely covered by the vinegar solution. If not add a combination of water and vinegar. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the mouth of the jar and screw on the lid. Place in the refrigerator for 8 weeks.

Pickled Habenro Chilies

3 garlic cloves – skinned peeled, and left whole
1/2 pound habanero chili – stems removed (you can substitute with any hot chili)
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1-tablespoon sugar
1-cup water
1-cup white vinegar or cider vinegar

In a clean glass one-quart jar place the garlic cloves, and fit the habaneros in snuggly gently pressing down. . Mix the salt, sugar and water together to dissolve. Pour the water mixture over the chilies along with about 3/4 cup of the vinegar. Put on a tight fitting lid, and refrigerate. After 24 hours pour the remaining 1/4 cup of vinegar over the habaneros to make sure they are fully submerged in the vinegar solution. Let the chilies pickled for 6 to 8 weeks in the refrigerator.

Peach Lavender Butter – yields approx. 7 quarts

15 pounds ripe peaches
2 cups raspberry puree – seeds discarded
1 tablespoon lavender – roughly ground
1/4 cup lemon juice
12 cups sugar

Wash the peaches and then cut in half to remove the pit. Puree the peaches, using some of the raspberry puree if necessary to get the peaches moving. Make sure the peach mixture is very smooth and the peach skin is well broken down. You should have approximately 20 cups of peach puree when finished.

In a 10 quart pot bring the peach, raspberry puree, lavender and lemon juice to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for an hour. Then mix in the sugar and continue to cook the mixture for another 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure the mixture is not scorching.

Fill sterilized jars and new lids, and seal tightly. Place the jars into boiling water, and process for 10 minutes. Carefully, remove from the water and allow the jars to cool. The lids should be sealed tight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Beet Root

From before biblical times when cuneiform was the written word beets were being cultivated, dug-up and enjoyed. This plant of the Mediterranean Basin produces an earthy-sweet sub-terrain tuber as well as tenderly sweet leaves to employ.

These beet roots come in more than just the blood-red staining varieties I remember having, and not so fondly, as a kid. The candy stripe, white and golden versions promise you will not end up washing your hands with the vigor of Lady Macbeth. Plus they tend to be a bit sweeter without that loamy quality of more conventional red ones. However, for a Russian style borscht soup, either or cold, nothing can replace the usage of the sanguine globes found almost anywhere. Besides that the one dish, I freely use whichever variety catches my eye on the day.

I like to purchase my beets with there greens still attached. This reason is twofold: firstly, I can tell how fresh they are if the leaves are still perky, then secondly, I get leaves to sauté just like I might spinach or Swiss chard.

If the beets are very fresh I will slice them paper thin, and toss the beets with vinegar or lemon juice for a bright salad. Though usually I roast them, wrapped in aluminum foil with a drizzle of water – set at the ubiquitous 350 for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Then you just have to rub of the skin with your hands. Of course, you can boil them to tender as well I just find roasting them creates a depth of flavor due to the caramelizing of the beets during the roasting process.

Borscht - yields 8 to 10 servings

4 pounds beets – peeled
2 pounds celery root – peeled
1 large onion – peeled
5 garlic cloves – crushed to a pasted
1-teaspoon caraway seeds – bruised
1-teaspoon celery seed
4 quarts vegetable stock
1/4-cup cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a food processor fitted with the grater attachment or with a hand held box grater, shred the beets, celery root and onion.

Place all the ingredients in a 10-quart soup pot, and bring to a boil over a high flame. Reduce the flame to simmer, and cook for 1 to 11/2 hours. Taste and correct seasoning. Serve hot or cold.

Roasted Beets in Minted Vinegar

3 pounds beets
1 onion - thinly sliced (I prefer a sweet style onion)
1/2 cup mint - roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Trim the root and stem end of the beets, and then wash them to dislodge any dirt. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and place on a baking tray. Cook the beets in the oven for 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove the beets from the oven and allow them to cool so you can handle them. Carefully rub the skin off the beets and then dice the beets into 1/2” cubes. Place the beets in a 1-1/2 quart clean, glass jar along with the onion and mint. Pour over the vinegar, water and salt, and cover. Place the in refrigerator overnight to a week before eating.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Muy Caliente

The discovery of the new world gave the Europeans, and from there, the rest of the globe a treasure trove of culinary sensations. One of Columbus’ main purposes behind sailing west was to unlock the Moor’s monopoly on the spice trade out of Southeast Asia giving the Europeans their own access to mace, clove, nutmeg and peppercorns. Upon landing in modern day Haiti Columbus experienced the fiery assault of what we have come to call the chili pepper. In the same botanical family as the tomato and potato this sun-loving nightshade contains a chemical called capsaicin that stimulates the nerves ending on our bodies -- anyone who has rubbed their eyes after slicing the hot varieties of this pepper knows the potency of this small fruit. The chemical is most concentrated in the membrane and seeds so removing them will lower their heat impact. I strongly recommend donning a pair of gloves when chopping a chili pepper for it can be a few hours later, and you are reminded of the chili work you did earlier in the day. If you find your mouth on fire a swig of milk or any other dairy product will help alleviate your discomfort while a water flush for the eye is the remedy of choice.

Though not all chili peppers are equal.


Anaheim-- Mild-- Great to stuff, batter and fry. Roasted, seeded and skinned
and added to grain dishes.

Cascabella-- incendiary…be careful-- Add into pickles, or used dried in
many Mexican sauces.

Cayenne-- Hot-- Primarily used dried – add in sparing
amounts to a dish as the flavor will
develop during cooking.

Habanero-- explosive!!-- One of the hottest chilies on earth.
Used very judiciously, though it has great flavor along with its heat. Look
for a Chocolate variety.

Hungarian Wax-- Mild-- Great for pickling or stuffing.

Jalapeño-- hot to hotter-- In the summer the heat level of this
pepper is at its most intense.
Probably the best known of the
American chilies with great
versatility. When dried and smoked
they become known as Chipotle.

Pasilla-- Mild-- Used in Mexico’s famed mole sauce Add it into a tomato sauce for some
extra zing.

Poblano-- Mild-- When dried it becomes known as a
ancho. A must for chili con carne. Or,
roast them and add them into a
vegetable salad.

Serrano-- very hot-- Great in pickles, salsas and a must for

Thai Chili-- very hot-- Also known as Bird’s Beak Chili.
Used throughout all Southeast Asian

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Watermelon; Summer's Thirst Quencher

The air is thick and as hot as the ladle-full of soup coming out of the pot. August’s physical presence is obvious to all. Even though nature in one breath lets us know what it must like to be a loaf of bread proofing in an oven she then offers the other – and hands us a slice of juicy, sweet watermelon. Her kindest is greatly appreciated this time of year, and I can only imagine how relieved the lucky parched mouth was when it came across this well protected oasis on the African plains. It is very little wonder that this summer fruit has such joyful memories for. It is always picture in my summer tableau: chilled slices being served poolside as an afternoon snack; crushed and froze to make my favorite childhood ice, and more recently, replacing the tomato in a gazpacho.

The idea of rapping on the watermelon to taste for ripeness was a technique I employed until three summers ago. That year I helped out on a farm harvesting tomatoes, chili peppers, husk tomatoes, zucchinis and yes, watermelon. I was informed the knock would only let you know no one lived within the fruit. The measure for maturity was the spot on it bottom where it sat only season on the earth. It should be well-developed and pale yellow or white in color. Then its heft should be measurable for its size indicating a thirst-quenching interior. It s a fruit that can be refrigerated for it does not continue to ripen after its harvest, and lets be serious – there is nothing better than a frosty slice of watermelon.

Watermelon Salad - serves 8

3 cups diced watermelons - seeds carefiully removed
1/4 pound feta cheese - diced
1 small red onion - minced
1 jalapeno pepper - minced
3 scallions - roots discarded, and minced
2 tablespoon mint leaves - chopped
1 tablespoon oregano leaves - chopped
1 lime - juiced
1/4 cup extra virigin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Gently toss allingredients together, and refrigerate to chill well. Serve.

Monday, August 6, 2007


And, so I waited. Finally, after a year of insulting mealy, flat tasting spheres the true thing has arrived. As, I mentioned with peaches (July 24 entry) I cannot eat a tomato that is not grown locally. Once they are put in their refrigerated trailer-home, to make the long distance journey to your generic market, the enzyme that facilitates ripening is rendered inert. And, since they are harvested under-ripe they never deliver the sweet, juicy pleasure that has allowed this vegetable to conquer the kitchens around the world.

Probably a native of South America early explorers found it being cultivated in Central America and the Caribbean, and from there their global voyage began. Initially, the northern Europeans thought this versatile vegetable poisonous as its distant European cousin, belladonna another nightshade plant, was toxic. It is thought the Italians were the first to brave the possibilities of sickness to discover the sensuous, tender delight of the tomato.

There is one particular variety I crave, pine for and wait (sometimes not so patiently) for – Aunt Ruby. This German variety is large and misshapened not what we would consider a conventional beauty, but as the adage goes – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And my eye holds her dearly. She is a green tomato that can weigh in excess of a pound, and when she is ripe her bottom blushes crimson expressing an endearing humility while similtanstly, coquettishly signaling she’s ready. The interior is dense with enough juice to satisfy the driest of mouths. My desire for he is great but simple – sliced, sprinkled with salt and drizzled with olive oil.

Though don’t just stop there try ever oddly shaped and colored tomato your find. When ripe the tomato will have a gentle give to its flesh, and if variegated its strip should be orange, red or deep yellow. Don’t refrigerate them unless they are absolutely ripe. I take ripe ones, and place them in freezer bags, whole, for a winter long supply of August sunshine. These squirreled away tomatoes replace any canned tomato that is called for all winter long – use them in soups, stews and sauces, and see if the Italian canned version stills holds the number one spot.

Yellow Gazpacho - yields 8 to 10 servings

6 yellow beefsteak tomatoes (approximately 1 3/4 pounds)
4 ribs celery - diced
6 scallions - diced
1 large cucumber - cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed; diced
1 medium red onion - finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves - roughly chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves - chopped
1 to 3 Serrano chilies - seeds discard and finely diced
1 lime - juiced (about 1/4 cup)
2 garlic cloves - crushed to a paste
2 tablespoons sherry or raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the tomatoes in half through its circumference to expose the seed pocket. Gently squeeze the seeds and pulp in a strainer. Push down on the seeds and pulp catching the juice in a large bowl. Discard the seeds. Dice the remaining tomatoes meat, and add all the ingredients into the strained tomato juice. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper as well as additional lime juice or a shot or two of Tabasco sauce. Serve iced cold with a dollop plain yogurt or sour cream.

This soup has about a two day shelf life.

Whole Wheat Berry Salad - yields 6 to 8 servings

1-1/2 cups wheat berries - uncooked
6 Roma tomatoes - quartered
1 Heart of Celery - diced
1 small red onion - diced
1 English hothouse cucumber - pulp scooped out and diced
2 tablespoons mint - chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsely leaves
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the wheat berries to a boil over a high heat in 6 cups of water; then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook the wheat berries for 30 to 40 minutes. Drain off any excess water, and cool.
Remove the pulp from the tomatoes, and push the pulp through a sieve to collect the juice. Discard the seeds. Dice the tomatoes. Mix the diced tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, celery, onion, cucumber, mint, parsley, vinegar, oil and berries together. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Serve the salad at room temperature.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Summer's Basket Runth Over

Sure complain about the oppressive heat – I will never. As the sun bakes the city's pavement causing us denizens of the urban jungle to pop in and out of over air-conditioned shops my friends working the land scamper to collect their burgeoning harvest. The intense heat and powerful solar conditions takes most of our summer fruits and vegetables to that moment of release. We do our best to reap the pleasure of nature largess just prior to that – unless you are looking for seeds to sow for the future.

As summertime reaches its zenith my senses go into overdrive-- the brilliant colors adorning the markets that no paint chip can every match; the sweet, musty siren’s call of a cantaloupe makes you wonder what went wrong with the supermarket’s offering, and the crunch of all those fruits and vegetables saturated with a sweet libation promising a hangover free happy-hour buzz.

Don’t walk run to the market, and revel in the glorious wealth of our land, heritage and labor.

Marinated Grilled Swordfish - yields 6 servings
2 stalks Lemon Grass
1/2 cup chopped Thai mint - leaves only (or a combination of mint and basil)
1 Red Asian chili - seeds removed and diced (or any hot chili pepper will do)
1 inch long piece of ginger - peeled and finely diced
2 pounds swordfish fillets – cut into serving portions
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil

Trim the lemon grass at its base and then trim off the green top portion. You discard the lemon grass where the green top starts to into fade into white bottom. Finely chop the lemon grass, Thai mint and combine with the chili and ginger. Rub the mixture into the swordfish fillets and wrap each individually in plastic wrap. If you use your hands to spread the marinade onto the swordfish I strongly recommend you wear plastic gloves. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.

Pre heat an indoor stove grill or outdoor grill.

Remove the plastic wrap and season with salt and pepper. Cook over a very hot grill for about 10 minutes. Drizzle the sesame over the fillets as they come off the grill.

Glistening ripeness
.............................Weighted by maturation
.................................................Elated by your gift

Corn Ice Cream – yields approx. 3 quarts

5 ears white corn
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 quarts milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Remove the kernel from their cobs. Puree the corn kernels to liquefy – it should yield approximately 3 cups.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together to a pale yellow.

In a 4 quart sauce pan heat the milk to just the scold – do not let it boil. Then slowly add some the hot milk into the eggs to temper them. Add the egg mixture and pureed corn into the remaining milk, and stir over a medium-low heat to slightly thicken.

Pour the milk mixture through a fine sieve into a container, and chill completely. Stir in the vanilla, and freeze according to your manufacture’s instructions.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Husk Tomato

About 10 years ago I discovered one of summer's mysteries. A fruit/vegetable labeled as a husk tomato also known as a ground cherry. It has a papery jacket in the fashion of the tomatillo but is as small as a current tomato. They are ripe when their meat is a golden-orange, which is hidden under its warm weather sheathing. As a flavor profile it is quite dynamic with an explosion reminiscent of pineapple and a musky finish. I must warm those who will seek out the husk tomato – they are addictive!

I have used my bounty in both sweet and savory applications – I still have not made up my mind how to classify them. For the last two years I have taken late August husk tomatoes and dried them on my kitchen counter, still in their casing, and used them in rice pilafs all winter long -- lay them on a screen or fine mesh strainer and place them in a cool dry spot. If they are not in a single layer give them a toss once a day to help prevent them for getting moldy. Let them sit for about a week. Eat them as a snack, or freeze them and put them in your Thanksgiving Cranberry Relish.

This native of South America peaks during the dog-days-of summer, and quickly disappears with the cooling breath of autumn. Look for ones that have a dried outer-shell with dazzling orbs contained within.

Husk Tomato and Corn Salad - yields 6 to 8 servings

4 ears of white corn
1 pint husk tomatoes
1 hot chili - such as a habenero
2 limes - juiced
1 tablespoon Toasted Seasme Oil
1/4 cup basil leaves - roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the corn kernels from their cob and place in a bowl. Peel the husks from the tomatoes and wash. Split the chili in half and remove the seeds. Finely dice the chili and toss all the ingredients together. Let the salad sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving in order to let the flavors meld.

Blueberry and Husk Tomato Bread Pudding - yields 10 to 12 servings

1 quart cream
3 ounces white chocolate - chopped
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup sugar
12 ounces blueberries
1 pint husk tomatoes
12” loaf brioche bread – cut into 1” cubes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 3 quart baking dish.

In a two quart sauce pan bring the cream to just the boil and remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped white chocolate and vanilla extra. In a clean work bowl beat the eggs and sugar together thoroughly combined. Slowly add the warm cream mixture into the eggs adding it slowly.

In the baking dish layer the bread and fruit, and then carefully pour over the egg mixture. Gently press down on the bread to ensure it’s saturated with the egg mixture. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and place in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes, and then shut off the heat. Let the pudding rest in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or cold.